Have you ever spoken and felt like your words fell on deaf ears? Maybe it was in the context of a request to a child: "First-name-middle-name-last-name, I asked you to pick up those toys . . . ."
Or perhaps to a spouse or significant other: "Sweetheart, I'd love if we could do something special on Friday night . . . ."
Or to a boss: "My plate is so full that I really don't think I can take on another project . . . ."
It is so frustrating to not be heard, whether it is by a loved one or a co-worker or the person on the other end of the customer service line. As human persons we find fulfillment not merely in being listened to, but in being truly heard, received, and responded to. At the end of the day what might mean the most to us are three simple words: “I. Hear. You.”
The real beauty and challenge of our lives in Christ is that what would like for ourselves is also what is asked of us, and all the more so. If we wish to be heard by others than we must also hear them. And if we wish for the Lord to hear us then we also must try to hear Him. What a beautiful reminder from Isaiah (quite easily my most favorite prophet ever!), that God's own Word is not some mysterious "idea" that can only be talked about in lofty theological terms. Like the simple rain that soaks the earth we are saturated by God's Word.
Now, being the Minnesotan that I am I know how hard it is to think about a lovely soft rain seeping into the soil whilst scraping the snow off of the car and stamping cold winter feet against the frozen ground just to stay warm. But perhaps in this, too, there is a message for us.
Our hearts must be like the soil that Isaiah writes of. They must be warm, inviting, permeable. Only then will His Word have the capacity to seep into the very fiber of our being, prompting us to move, and giving us the ability to plant acts of charity in this world that will one day come to abundant fruition. His Word is what allows us, as the Psalmist cries, to "magnify the Lord" and exalt Him in our day-to-day living.
Today we read in the Gospel the prayer so lovingly referred to as the "Our Father." Let us not allow this precious Word to fall on deaf ears. Let it soak into the thirsty soil of our hearts.
Karen Schultz is a Certified Birth Doula who hails from the Land of 10,000 lakes, where she is often found in or near one of them. You can find out more about her here.